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Steve Unruh - Music from Air CD (album) cover


Steve Unruh

Prog Folk

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4 stars I guess I am one of the very few who prefers Steve Unruhs solo work to his recent band activities. I was very happy to hear that 4 years after the excellent Challenging gravity another solo release of Steve was on its way.

Music from Air is different from all his other solo releases. First it's the soundtrack of the musical movie 'Air' which was released in 2010. Steve felt there were still some minor flaws in the original recordings and early 2014 he finally found time to correct them. Unfortunately the movie 'Air' never made it to the European arthouse cinemas but I saw it got some favorable comments on imdb. I can only asses the CD but I am curious how it all works in the context of the movie.

All his other CDs were almost completely recorded alone. This CD has a lot of other musicians, most notably the singing actors but there is also a trumpet player, a brass band, a chamber orchestra and a string quartet on the album. On his regular solo albums the tunes are all in his unique aggressive folk-prog style. On this album e each tune has its own unique style. The albums opens in rather familiar territory with a folk rock instrumental. The next tune 'the measure that is missing' is a beefy rocker that wouldn't be out of place on resistors first album. Further on the album we hear some pure jazz, some classical oriented stuff, hiphop (with Steve rapping!), a punkish brass track like Gogol Bordello but most of all we hear a lot of good songs. The standout track for me is the dark melancholic track 'life without pain'. I wouldn't call it a perfect album or 'the best he ever did' (that award still goes to the amazing 'the Great Divide"). Just one or two tracks work a bit less for me but I guess that is inevitable for an album that covers so much ground.

Leaves me to answer one final question: is this prog? Judging from all the individual songs I would honestly say no. On the other hand, an album that covers, Folk, jazz, Classical, hardrock, hiphop and punk sure is prog in my book!

Highly recommede for all Steve Unruh fans and all fans of good songwriting

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Posted Wednesday, September 3, 2014 | Review Permalink

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